A third Martinez resident has been charged with a crime following July 4th weekend dustups over a freshly painted Black Lives Matter mural in front of the county courthouse.
30-year-old Joseph Osuna, whom multiple witnesses allegedly saw brandishing a handgun and shouting "All Lives Matter" at them on July 5, has now been charged with unlawful firearm activity and possessing a firearm not registered to the owner. As the Mercury News reports via District Attorney spokesman Scott Alonso, Osuna was seen in photos and video on social media wearing an American flag hat and bandana, and he reportedly stopped to harass activists who were guarding the mural that had to be repainted after two white Martinez residents attempted to paint over it the previous day.
Those two residents, later identified as 42-year-old Nicole Anderson and 53-year-old David Nelson, were saying things like "racism is a leftist lie" and "this is not happening in my town" in response to the newly painted and permitted mural. Last week they were both charged with a hate crime — with charges of violating civil rights, vandalism, and possession of tools to commit vandalism or graffiti.
Osuna appeared the next day, and allegedly menaced activists standing guard after the mural was repainted following the defacement. According to witnesses, he shouted "All lives matter!" out of his Jeep and then when he was confronted by those assembled, he turned around and brandished the weapon.
UPDATE: Nicole Anderson, 42, and David Nelson, 53, both of Martinez, charged by @ContraCostaDA w/hate crime, vandalism & having vandalism tools for defacing Black Lives Matter mural, per @MartinezPDinCA pic.twitter.com/WOynahk6bT— Henry K. Lee (@henrykleeKTVU) July 7, 2020
#Breaking-2:Witnesses say man in jeep yelled “All Lives Matter!” When he was confronted by the group, he drove off. Witnesses say he then circle back and pulled a gun on a young man. Hear from young man on @abc7newsbayarea at 11 PM.https://t.co/RF0VmwBayg#BLM #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/STPq8BSp4X— Anser Hassan (@AnserHassan) July 6, 2020
The pair of incidents prompted a fresh Black Lives Matter demonstration in Martinez this past weekend which drew at least 500 people. Fears of a possible clash with counter-protesters proved unfounded.
As the Chronicle's Otis R. Taylor, Jr. describes it, the BLM mural has prompted a debate "between new and old Martinez," and Nelson and Anderson represent an old guard of white residents who feel threatened by this movement. The small East Bay town of 38,000 "is slowly diversifying," Taylor writes, "as renters and homeowners seeking affordable places to live in the Bay Area move to town." And some, like Nelson, seem to believe — like so many aggrieved white people in this country right now — that their existence and ownership over the place where they grew up are threatened by new, non-white residents.
Nelson has of course gone on Fox News to defend himself, on Tucker Carlson's consistently racist show no less, saying, "I grew up in Martinez, so it struck a chord with me. I don’t agree with BLM. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with Black people. That’s not what this is about."
Nelson went on to say that BLM protesters have "a hidden agenda," about which he did not elaborate because he is consumed by the ignoramus Fox feedback loop and has no rationally formed opinions. And he called on more "Americans" to take to the streets and fight back against this liberal conspiracy because "we are starting to lose ground here."
Carlson himself described a woman who yelled at Nelson and Anderson while Anderson was attempting (ineptly) to paint over the enormous mural with one can of black paint, as a "lunatic."
Here’s the full interview of the racist couple that tried to destroy the BLM mural in Martinez CA on Tucker Carlson last night. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/LRbfYmpHkj— Victor Romiti (@VictorRomiti) July 11, 2020